Ikea might be known for its quirky ads and even quirkier product names but it seems the Swedish flatpack giant has overstepped the mark – quite literally – in its latest campaign, which showed a male model teetering on the edge of Beachy Head.
The photoshopped image, featured a man called Sven wearing the “must-have” Faltmal, a cushion which folds out into a quilt that, according to Ikea, “keeps you warm and comfy when travelling”.
The £25 article, which boasts “genius button fastening”, that keeps it from sliding off when “you reach for your coffee” was being promoted as a “staycation accessory”.
On Instagram, the images featured by the caption: “Our must-have Faltmal is flying off the shelves, but this is your chance to win one” while a pair of walkers can be seen looking towards Sven, as if admiring his fashion choice.
Quite why the company chose the notorious suicide spot to promote the Fatmal is anyone’s guess. The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team conducts regular day and evening patrols of the area in attempts to locate and stop potential cliff jumpers. Meanwhile workers at the pub and even taxi drivers are on the lookout for people contemplating suicide and there are signs with the telephone number of the Samaritans urging potential jumpers to call them.
The move also follows a huge cliff fall down the coast at Seaford Head last month, which prompted East Sussex County Council head of operations Karl Taylor to warn: “We want people to come to East Sussex and enjoy its beautiful coastline, but to do so safely and be aware of the dangers that the chalk cliffs and the sea can present.
“Visitors should not underestimate the risks they are taking when they stand on top of the cliffs or at the cliff base, and should remember that it is very easy to be caught out by the incoming tide when walking on the beach.”
Ikea offered no explanation other than to say it was sorry for sharing a string of photos on social media using the clifftop in east Sussex it had not meant to cause offence and Instagram posts have now been removed.
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